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Joe Paterno Press Conference Notes

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Here are your bullet points from Joe Paterno's weekly press conference.

  • Joe thinks they are a pretty good football team. He wouldn't say if they're as good as they thought he would be at this point. He's not pleased with the block punts, but considering the things they had to overcome with injuries and inexperience, he thinks they're doing a good job.
  • Joe called Navorro Bowman "one of the better linebackers in the country". But he also knocked him a bit on his conditioning.
  • He remembered Pat Fitzgerald when he was a linebacker at Northwestern. Called him "aheckuvaplayer". Also noted that Ron Vanderlinden was his coach at Northwestern. That was when he first noticed Ron and why Joe went after him after he got let go at Maryland.
  • Joe called the Iowa block a "fluke" because it was a blown assignment by a blocker. But the block against Michigan should not have happened. He called out Boone for being too long in his steps. He's scared about Northwestern because they blocked a punt against Indiana last week. They are going to spend a lot of time on the punting game this week.
  • Joe doesn't think they will get caught looking past Northwestern.
  • Joe is impressed with the job Fitzgerald has done at Northwestern considering the circumstances in which he inherited the job.
  • He had a lot of praise for Odrick saying he's not getting the credit he deserves. In fact, Joe spent a lot of this press conference talking up his players and team. If I didn't know better, I would say Joe is lobbying for a better ranking and recognition.

  • Some idiot reporter asked Joe if he though Northwestern would focus on defending the run or the pass. He got a predictable, "I haven't got the slightest idea" in response. Way to waste your question, doofus.
  • Pannell is still not 100%. McCormack is ok, and he will battle Poti for the starting right tackle spot this week. Pannell is now practicing at left tackle as Landolt's backup.
  • Joe seemed really insulted about Daryll Clark getting snubbed by the media. He pointed out that the focus in the media leading up to the game last week was all about the freshman quarterbacks at Michigan, and Clark had to show how he could compare to them. I'm glad to see Joe sticking up for his players like this. It truly is a rare sight.
  • Joe said walk ons have always been a big part of the program. He's pleased with Graham Zug, but he wasn't sure in the beginning of his career. Joe thought he was a step slow, but he works hard and he's tough.
  • Though Joe didn't come out and say it, it sounds like Stephfon Green is out again this week. Brent Carter and Brandon Beachum will back up Royster again.
  • Joe seemed concerned about Northwesterns pace of the game. He noted they run about 90 plays per game while Penn State only runs about 70. Said they will spread you out and pick you apart with their passing game.
  • A lot of praise for Brandon Beachum. Said he's a smart and tough football player. Reminds him a lot of Mike Archie. Personally, I don't see that. Mike Archie couldn't play fullback or linebacker.
  • Joe said traveling in back-to-back road games isn't that tiring. He got home by 9:30 on Saturday night (and I'll bet he was in bed by 10). This week he's worried about tiring them out because he wants to do some extra work on the kicking game, but they still have to work on all the normal stuff too.
  • Joe called the 4th and 3 punt decision a "no-brainer". Michigan had the wind at their back so Joe didn't want to give them the ball at the 30 yard line. Their center got injured earlier in the game and they were playing a guard in his place. Joe thought they might make a mistake down there and they did.
  • Sukay is doing well, but he needs to turn those breakups into interceptions.
  • Joe said the team had a nice mix of senior leadership that coached the younger players into a solid football team. He said it has really come together.
  • Finally, a reporter asked about the Northwestern game in 2005 which gives us our pwnage of the week.
    Your last trip to Northwestern, you had the big drive at the end with Smolko on fourth down and the touchdown to Derrick Williams. That was early in that season. How much of a turning point do you think winning the game the way you did late helped turn around that season and maybe, even larger perspective, the 2005 season?

    I don't even know what you're talking about.

    You had fourth down and Michael Robinson hit Smolko.

    Was that at Northwestern?

    Yes, then you had the late touchdown.

    I'm glad Smolko caught it. I probably didn't know he was in the game.

    It was early in the season.

    Geez, you guys, when I write my book I'll put all that stuff in it. I don't know. That's 100 years ago to me. I don't go to bed thinking about what we did 20 years ago. I go to bed thinking what we've got to do this Saturday. All right. Hope it doesn't come down to the fourth. But it might. It might come down we're just trying to hang on for our lives.